One of my unforgettable experiences flying helicopters was during my private pilot license test.
It was like every other day and I had just finished with my navigation flight planning the previous night.
I got to the airport and was asked to go into one of the inner offices to meet my flight examiner. I didn’t know what to expect but have been praying to get tested by someone who is more reserved and wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on me. I knew my prayer was answered because the examiner greeted me with a smile and the first word that came out of his mouth before he introduced himself was that ‘’ don’t be nervous, am not here to scare or fail you’’. He later told me his name and also told me about himself and his life journey as an Airline/Helicopter pilot. We had a long chat before he asked if I was ready for the flight and my reply was YES with a big smile.
He asked me to go and do my pre-flight, after which he joined me to ask questions about my pre-flight and the helicopter components. After about 30 minutes, I was done and ready for the flight. On getting inside the aircraft with my examiner, I noticed that he had unscrewed a lot of things but I was so quick to identify them, he smiled and said well done.
I did my pre-take off checks, placed a radio call to the air traffic controller and I was cleared for liftoff. I had worked on my handling skills and situation awareness so my taxing, take off and attitude flying was excellent. He was very happy with everything I did. i read a manual the previous night about good airmanship skill while going for a check ride. An important key that I learnt from the manual was to always let your instructor or examiner know what you are doing, what you intend to do and the reason for doing it.
I arrived overhead the first location in my Navigation planning at the exact estimated time of arrival, I did an orbit to reposition myself for the right heading to the next location. My examiner was so pleased and happy with me, he didn’t contribute nor utter a word, he was just smiling and ticking the boxes in the form he had with him.
One would consider me as one of the luckiest people on earth on the day of my test because the airspace we were flying was very quiet so it made my radio work smooth and also made it one less thing to worry about.
…………………………………………………………………………………..To be continued
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